oceans Archives - State of the Planet

Ocean Sediments Off Pacific Coast May Feed Tsunami Danger

Tightly packed sediments help the Cascadia Subduction Zone generate large earthquakes, and could boost its ability to trigger a large tsunami.

by |November 20, 2017

Iron Chemistry Matters for Ocean Carbon Uptake

An interdisciplinary team of scientists has discovered that, contrary to general scientific belief, iron in nondissolved particle form can stimulate phytoplankton growth, and that the chemical form that particulate iron takes is critical to ocean photosynthesis.

by |June 23, 2017

Tapping into Ocean Power

The oceans of the world are a vast unexploited source of clean, reliable and predictable renewable energy. Could this energy help replace fossil fuels and be a solution to climate change?

by |February 14, 2017

Project Aims to Map World’s Oceans by 2030

More than 85 percent of the ocean floor remains unmapped, leaving us in the dark about much of the earth’s topography. A global, non-profit effort will try to remedy that, and influence everything from climate research and weather prediction to mineral resource exploration and fisheries.

by |February 2, 2017

How Does the Ocean Drive Weather and Climate Extremes?

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists Ryan Abernathey and Richard Seager are investigating how processes in the ocean create extreme weather and climate conditions over land.

by |August 30, 2016
Stephanie Bush of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (left) and Chiara Borelli of the University of Rochester emerge from the research submarine Alvin after the first dive. Photo: Bridgit Boulahanis

The Magic of Exploring Under the Sea

It’s midnight on the ship, and the labs are filled with scientists busy examining samples. Two of them just got back from a trip to the seafloor, and the excitement is palpable.

by |July 31, 2016
Ocean overturning circulation illustrated. Courtesy of co-author Lynne Talley.

Wind-Blown Antarctic Sea Ice Helps Drive Ocean Circulation

Antarctic sea ice is constantly on the move as powerful winds blow it away from the coast and out toward the open ocean. A new study shows how that ice migration may be more important for the global ocean circulation than anyone realized.

by |June 27, 2016
With the right mix of nutrients, carbon-capturing phytoplankton grow quickly, creating blooms visible from space. (Robert Simmon and Jesse Allen/NASA)

Iron Fertilization Won’t Work in Equatorial Pacific, Study Suggests

Over the past half-million years, the equatorial Pacific Ocean has seen five spikes in the amount of iron-laden dust blown in from the continents. In theory, those bursts should have turbo-charged the growth of carbon-capturing algae, but a new study shows that the excess iron had little to no effect.

by |May 16, 2016

Almost Home, with Another 7 Million Years of Climate History

Science at sea isn’t easy, but the benefits are huge, writes Sidney Hemming in her final post from a two-month expedition that collected millions of years of climate history in the deep-sea sediment from off southern Africa.

by |March 25, 2016
Scientists crowd around the stratigraphic correlators' screens. Co-chief scientists Sidney Hemming and Ian Hall are on the right. Photo: Tim Fulton/IODP

Mozambique Core Brings Up 7 Million Years of Climate History

With calm seas, the JOIDES Resolution’s latest sediment core comes up with what appears to be a fantastic, cyclic climate signal that is continuous back 7 million years, writes Sidney Hemming.

by |March 11, 2016